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How Dodge kept the Demon a secret during development

Sometimes, the best things are kept secret. In the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s case, only a handful of the automaker’s engineers knew about the headline-making muscle car.

The great lengths Dodge went through to ensure the Challenger Demon project was kept a secret are pretty commendable, detailed in a video from Autoline. The brand covered all of its bases to ensure nothing seemed out of the ordinary when testing and developing the car internally. Foremost, a buzzworthy codename was off the table. Instead of dubbing the Demon’s monstrous 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine something like “Hellcat,” the Demon was referred to as “Benny” internally. It raised no red flags to anyone in earshot of conversation.

Then, Dodge covered its tracks even more. When the higher-output engine was being tested on the dyno, which makes 840 horsepower on 100+ octane fuel, if you hadn’t heard, the engineering team reconfigured the dyno’s gauges so it looked like just another Hellcat engine. No one passing by thought a thing; through the project’s entire development, only a few dozen people were aware of the car’s existence. When you’re building a muscle car with so many production firsts, and just as many performance accomplishments, secrecy is the best policy. Ask the Ford team that developed the new GT.

Production of the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon has officially begun, but dealers and owners will have to wait just a little while longer. Fiat Chrysler told Motor Authority deliveries will begin “following containment at the plant.”

When the Demon is delivered, it’ll be Dodge’s best-kept secret in a long time.

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